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Travel Guide To Denver, Colorado

travel Sep 13, 2022

We moved to Denver from Nashville, Tennessee and lived in the city for a few years prior to where we are now which is about 50-minutes west of the city in the mountains. Our town is super small though so we go "down the mountains" and into Denver pretty frequently. Like any big city (Denver is apparently the 19th largest city in the US), places come and go but I wanted to put together a guide with some of our favorite places, especially for visitors to check out. Denver really is an amazing city so I hope you enjoy!

 

Places to Eat

   

 Ice Cream Shops

  • Little Man Ice Cream - This shop resembles a giant milk jug and becomes VERY popular on warm summer nights with a line that wraps around the building. Delicious, homemade ice cream. Try the salted oreo!
  • Bonnie Brae Ice Cream - A family-owned ice cream shop with an old-fashioned flare in the university area. On summer nights, the line will be out the door and you'll be smelling the fresh waffle cones but we promise it's worth it!
  • Sweet Cooie's - The cutest old-timey ice cream shop! Try the chocolate truffles!

 

 

Brunch

  • Snooze and A.M. Eatery - A very popular breakfast/brunch spot with a fun and lively atmosphere. There are a few locations around Denver (including inside Union Station) but don't be surprised if you have to wait for a bit. don't worry, they serve free coffee while you wait and the food is so worth it.
  • The Viewhouse - There are several locations around Denver but if there's a Rockies baseball game happening, going here for brunch then to the game (a short walk to the stadium) makes for a fun day. It's also a fun brunch spot when there are any games on because there are TVs everywhere and a fun area to play cornhole outside too.
  • Cafe Rialto - Restaurant right on 16th street mall open for brunch until 2pm. There's a fantastic bottomless mimosa bar for $13! Need I say more?

 

 

Lunch

  • The Source - A market hall with several food options and shops. There's also a rooftop restaurant in The Source Hotel (attached to the market hall) that has fantastic views of the mountains and a great brunch too!
  • Denver Milk Market - Not what it sounds like. It’s a market hall that's an all local mix of restaurants and bars. If you’ve got a group that's all craving something different, this would be the place to go.
  • Denver Central Market - A fun marketplace and food hall with lots of food options and a fun vibe.
  • Cart Driver - Pizza and drinks, this whole neighborhood is really fun

 

 

Dinner

  • Work & Class - a favorite spot! A cozy atmosphere that serves small plates to share with a Southern and Latin American flare. Try the fried plantains and chickpea croquettes for sure! And the brisket is AMAZING.
  • Root Down - A nicer restaurant that serves seasonal small plates focused on natural and organic food. Bonus - it's in a fun neighborhood so after dinner hop into one of the local bars or breweries and wander around!
  • Tacos Tequila Whiskey - If you're on the hunt for delicious tacos, you definitely have to try this spot!
  • Jovanina’s Broken Italian - Come here for wood and coal-fired pizzas and pastas in the coolest renovated historic Blake street space.
  • ​​Ultreia - Located in a tucked away part of Union Station with Spanish tapas for sharing. If you've got a group who all wants to try a little bit of everything, this is the place to try!

 

 

Places to Drink 

 

Coffee Shops

  • Hudson Hill - Come in for a coffee or a cocktail... my kinda place. An fun upbeat coffee shop in the Capitol Hill area that also serves cocktails and turns into a bar lounge once all the coffee shop workers are done at 5pm.
  • Weathervane Cafe - A quaint and quirky coffee shop with some awesome lattes and good food. They have a bunch of different milk alternatives and if you have food allergies, you'll be able to find many options here.
  • Stowaway Kitchen - An espresso bar that has globally inspired food. It's a cozy place that's great to sit and work from your laptop for the day in a fun part of town.
  • Steam Espresso Bar - Industrial vibe coffee shop with great coffee and a nice open outdoor area. Going here is a safe bet for a great cup of coffee.
  • Corvus

 

 

Drinks/Bars

  • Cruise Room - A 1920's style bar in the historic Oxford Hotel. It's a small bar so try to go around 4-5pm to snag a spot and pre-dinner cocktail.
  • Cooper Lounge - Most folks don't know this cocktail bar is tucked away on the second level of Union Station. Try to go for sunset where you'll be able to see the light rays coming in through the second floor windows of Union Station. Don't forget to make a reservation online!
  • Linger - Check out the rooftop bar where you can grab drinks and appetizers with a spectacular view of the city.
  • Hotel Teatro - This hotel has a fun restaurant and bar area to grab drinks and catch up with friends.
  • Lady Jane - Basically Palm Springs in Denver. A super chill place for tasty cocktails and a beautifully designed space. Not just for the ladies either!
  • Death & Co (inside The Ramble Hotel) - One of my favorite bars in the city.
  • Millers & Rossi -  this is like a secret bar because it's hidden in the back of an art gallery and is a dimly lit lounge. Such a fun place!

 

 

Breweries

  • Blue Moon - While Blue Moon may be actually made in the Coors facility in Golden, Blue Moon has their own restaurant and brewery to call their own. Try the seasonal beers on tap you can't get many other places!
  • Breckenridge Brewery - This is a little south of Denver in a town called Littleton but worth the drive to check out this place, especially on a summer or fall day when you can enjoy the outdoorsy options.
  • Great Divide Brewing - Located in downtown Denver, this place is a staple for a brewery tour.

 

 

Out on the Town

  • Union Station - Union Station is one of my favorite places in Denver. It's an active train station but also has plenty of restaurants, two bars, a coffee shop, an ice cream shop, and also hosts markets throughout the year.
  • Stanley Marketplace - A marketplace filled with restaurants, shops, and bars.
  • LoHi - LoHi stands for Lower Highlands and is a younger neighborhood with restaurants, bars, and a fun place to wander around.
  • Rockies Baseball Game - If you like baseball, the Colorado Rockies is a fun stadium to visit with views of the Rocky Mountains. 

 

 

Photography

  • Union Station - This historic Union Station is not only a working railway station but also has lots of restaurants, bars, shops, and a hotel inside. You'll want to spend a few hours here for sure.
  • Red Rocks Park - While also a music venue, this is one of the top places people stop for photos around Denver. Don't be surprised if you see people running the stairs, this is a prime working-out spot for locals too.
  • RiNo - If you're into street art and graffiti, you'll find some great spots around the RiNo (River North) area. Check out this site too to find where all the best street art is: The Best Denver Street Art | VISIT DENVER.

 

 

Music Venues

  • Red Rocks Amphitheater - An iconic music venue and a must-visit while in town. Go to a show if you can and if you visit during the day, don't be surprised if you see some locals working out here running the steps. You can also hike around this area.
  • The Fillmore - This indoor music venue opened in 1907 and is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The Fillmore is a well-known venue in Denver and has popular artists playing often.
  • Fiddler's Green Amphitheater - A popular spot for outdoor music in the summer. People bring chairs and blankets and sit on the grass enjoying live music.

 

 

The Great Outdoors

Check out this full blog post with Our Favorite Hikes Outside Denver! There are 20-ish hikes on here with a Google map and all :)

 

 

Nearby Mountain Towns

  • Golden - Golden is right at the foothills, a cute mountain town to check out with a fun "welcome to Golden" sign that sits right at the entrance of the main street. There are tons of hikes and breweries around this area.
  • Evergreen - Evergreen is easy to get to from Denver. Check out the downtown area and the Evergreen lake. During the summer you can kayak and during the winter, it's turned into an ice skating rink!
  • Winter Park - If you're wanting to get outdoorsy but not stray too far from the city, Winter Park is just a 1.5 hr drive from Denver. There are lots of activities to do in all seasons here but I wouldn't try to drive out there after a big snowfall. You can even take the train from Union Station if you prefer.
  • Colorado Springs - If you have time to make the drive down to "the springs," here are some things to check out there:
    • Manitou Incline
    • Barr Trail
    • Garden of the Gods
    • Air Force Academy (check out the chapel)
    • Drive up to Pike’s Peak

 

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